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‘Nigeria Needs N6trn To Meet Demands On Water Infrastructure’

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The Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu, says Nigeria needs not less than six trillion Naira to meet the demands for water supply infrastructure in the country.
Adamu said this at the 28th Regular Meeting of the National Council on Water Resources in Abuja.
The minster, noted that major challenges facing the sustainable development of the water sector were funding, poor water governance, obsolete infrastructure amongst others.
He said the meeting was an opportunity to discuss developments in the water sector, evaluate issues, address identified challenges and chart a way forward towards resolving contemporary challenges.
Speaking on the theme, “Emerging Financial and Management Challenges for Sustainable Water Infrastructure in Nigeria”, Adamu said a review of water governance, sustainable financing, pricing for water services was being considered.
He said resolutions from the last council meeting saw the need for states to key into the current Partnership for Expanded Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (PEWASH) initiative of the Federal Government.
This, he noted, is being piloted in some states in a performance approach through the provision of separate budget line in the state rural agency of water supply and sanitation agencies.
He added that the World Bank had committed 700 million dollars to support Nigeria in its National WASH Action plan towards revitilisation of the sector through the Sustainable Urban and Rural Water Supply and sanitation Hygiene (SURWASH) programme.
“SURWASH is expected to provide six million people with basic drinking water services and 1.4 million people access to improved sanitation services.
“The programme will deliver improved WASH services to 2,000 schools and healthcare facilities and assist communities to achieve open defecation-free status’’.
Earlier, Mr Oumar Dombouya, UNICEF WASH Manager, said the 2019 National Outcome Routine Mapping of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Service Levels (WASH-NORM), showed that 30 per cent of the people in Nigeria (60 million people) do not have access to clean water.
He noted that UNICEF had been giving its support to change this narrative through Village Level Operation and Maintenance to improve functionality and sustainability of water facilities across the country.
Dombouya pledged the commitment of the UN body to support durable and cost effective interventions towards making the country meet its SDG target by 2030.
Dr Edwin Isotu-Edeh, National Consultant, Public Health and Environment, representing the WHO Nigeria Country Representative, said it was worrisome that one in three persons still lack access to basic drinking water globally.
He said there was need to democratise access to WASH services in the county, saying states must emulate what was being done in the federal level to ensure sustainability.
“States can emulate what was being done by the federal government, ad all stakeholders ought to put water as a key component of all interventions’’.
Mr Olusade Adesola, representative of the FCT Minister, Dr Mohammed Bello, said provision of clean and safe clean drinking water to FCT residents was top priority of the Federal Government through the FCT Administration.
He listed challenges of population explosion, inadequate funding amongst others, saying implementable policies were underway to address this need.
“The water sector is faced with old and emerging challenges that has prevented us from emerging our target in this sector, providing infrastructure for regular water supply is very capital intensive.

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Environment

CSOs Partner Govt On Climate Change

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Some civil society organisations have expressed their willingness to partner with the government to address climate change and other environmental challenges in the new year.
Some of the organisations include, the Nigeria Civil Society Framework on Paris Agreement at the SDG’s (NCSfPAS) GIFSED, Climate and Sustainable network as well as Women Environmental Programme (WEP) Gender and Environmental Initiatives (GERI).
The Tide source in Abuja reported the Executive Director of Global Initiative for Food Security and Ecosystem preservation, Mr. David Terugwa as saying that they were ready to partner government with view to addressing climate change and other environmental challenges.
For us, we are looking at those areas where we can come in and assist and to be partners with the government.
Project Lead, CSDeu Net, Mr. Pius Oko, said that the group will support the government and other stakeholders in the implementation of the law.
“We are here today to make a step forward. We want to first highlight the issues that concern the impact in climate change and have a tangible solution to such problems.
Executive-Director, WEP,Mrs Anne-Marie Abaogu said CSOs were set to develop a partnership that would implement framework to reverse the ugly trend of climate change in the country.

By: Oribim Ibama

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Environment

Monarch Advises Community On Sanitation

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The Onuayekein /Amanyanabo of Obonoma Community, King Enenibofori Dateme Obonogina, has charged the community to take the issue of sanitation seriously. Speaking at an interative session recently in the community, the Obonogina said all grasses and bushes must be cleared to expose the face of the community.
He said the situation will improve the hygienic and aesthetic conditions of the community. King Dateme said the community will expand the road recently commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to enable it include more of its hinterland communities.
He said the expansion of the road will boost farming and fishing activities in the areas as well as enable more farmers and fishermen to evacuate their produce to the markets thereby boosting the economy of the area.
He said the community will liaise with Ministries, Departments and Agencies with a view to developing the areas. King Dateme also stressed the need for unity and love among the people. According to him, when there is love, there will be peace and development of the community.
Also speaking, Professor Anyamebo Okorosoye Orubite, urged the people to cultivate the spirit of self help instead of relying solely on government for the development of their communities.
He also said that arrangements were on to build a Kalabari University at Semoo.

By: Oribim Ibama

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Environment

NOA Charges Nigerians On Illegal Oil Bunkering

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National Orientation Agency (NOA) has called on Nigerians to regard any money generated from illegal oil bunkering business also known as “Kpofire” business as blood money.
Rivers State Director of the Agency, Barrister Young Ayotamuno, made the call in an exclusive interview with The Tide in Port Harcourt.
Ayotamuno also said kpofire business also negated the right to life of Nigerians.
According to him, citizen’s constitutional rights to life are being breached by the proliferation of illegal refinaries in the region.
Ayotamuno, who said deaths related to respiratory tract infection is likely to increase in the next few years in the region also described as baseless, arguments that poverty and unemployment are responsible for the rising cases of illegal oil bunkering activities in the Niger Delta.
“You cannot use poverty to justify the breaking of pipelines, which is a critical national asset”, stressing that the National Orientation Agency (NOA) will continue to sensitise members of the public on the need to protect the nation’s asset.
The NOA director also commended the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, for directing local government chairmen in the state to monitor their areas and ensure the stoppage of illegal oil bunkering activities in their domains.
“NOA is thanking Governor Wike for asking local government chairmen to monitor their areas.
“NOA will continue to sensitise members of the public that you cannot use poverty to justify the breaking of pipelines which is a national assets”.
“The consequence of illegal refinery is that it negates the right to life of the citizen.
“Peoples Constitutional Right to Life is being negated. Peoples environment is being destroyed”, he said.
He said stopping the nefarious activities require a lot of political will add “we must work with state government and federal government to curb it. “Kpofire money is blood money” he declared.
Ayotamuno said the society cannot be battling kpofire and Covid-19 at the same time as reports had it that both incidences are responsible for series of respiratory infections.
He also called on the government to revisit the issues of modular refineries as well as the stoppage of gas flaring in the country.
The NOA Director also called for a half to the practice of burning of tyres and that of bush burning, while destruction of illegal petroleum vessels by military should be stopped.

By: John Bibor

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